The Club has become aware of a string of cases of poorly secured dangerous goods, more specifically, Sulphur being exported from St. Petersburg, Russia. This has led to two other related shipments being stopped and inspected in two separate European ports.
During transhipment operations in Hamburg one container in a large booking of bagged Sulphur (UN4.1, IMO 1350) being shipped from St. Petersburg, Russia to Qingdao, China suffered an accident. The following investigation found that the dangerous goods were not packaged and secured as per the regulations as described within the IMDG code. As a precaution other containers in the same booking were inspected. All were found to be inadequately packed and secured.
As a consequence of this incident, information was passed between Port State Control authorities which resulted in similar bookings being examined in both Rotterdam and Hamburg where the same inadequate packing was found. In each case, on safety grounds the containers were re-packaged and stowed in line with the IMDG code. All costs incurred by the port were charged to the carrier. The carrier has since ceased to do business with the shippers involved.
In total over 100 containers were affected from six different vessels. Four shipping lines had their services disrupted as a result. It goes without saying that this level of disruption to regular services is not in anyone’s best interests.
The Club urges Members who have or are likely to have bookings of large amounts of Sulphur (UN4.1, IMO1350) from St. Petersburg, Russia should exercise caution. The Club remains on hand to offer advice.
Source of Information:
London Syndicate 1
UK P&I Club
Pictures reproduced with kind permission of Port Supervisor.